9:17am mardi 26 août, I saw the sign, bienvenue à Paris.
Here begins the grand adventure, well, just one of the beginnings.
We met our host mother for the night, Isabelle, and went to her apartment, near Montmartre. She was absolutely lovely, and spoke very good English.
We were toured around Montmartre and Sacre Cœur by her two young sons. It was raining the whole time, so I have very few photos, but it was beautiful. It was Paris, need I say more?
We returned to Isabelle’s for a three course lunch. Mains, cheese, dessert. It was delicious, and by that point I was very grateful to have real food.
At 2pm we began our ~5 hour walking tour of Paris with a YFU Volunteer. It was amazing, and exhausting, but mostly amazing. We essentially did a tour of most of the famous old buildings in Paris, at each our guide told us great, interesting stories about each building. Little funny or gruesome tidbits of information.
We saw Notre Dame, the High Court, La Sorbonne, Saint Michel (not Mont Saint-Michel), the City Hall, the oldest still serving hospital, just to name a few.
We walked along the Seine, and over the bridge collapsing under the weight of locks, as well as other bridges covered in locks (I didn’t know there were so many!), and over le pont neuf (the new bridge) which is ironically the oldest bridge in Paris. To juxtapose the old buildings, we wandered past the contemporary art museum, and the accompanying fountain, which were beautiful in their own very different way.
We visited les marches aux fleurs, which was very interesting and smelled great. We saw le Louvre et le Musée d’Orsay from behind. Finally, we caught the metro home.
We arrived back at Isabelle’s, and rested. Jet lagged, and just plain exhausted. A bit later, we met our host father for the night, Fredérique, and I had a tiny conversation with him in French. Whilst there was certainly a lot of erring on my part, and a bit of English from both of us, it gave me a bit of a confidence boost.
Dinner was another three course affair, and the conversation was part French, part English. The family was lovely, and they genuinely seemed interested in us, just as we were them.
The roller coaster of a day ended, and we slept very well, until 7:30 the next morning…